Archive for the ‘Fun Fridays’ Category

Fun Fridays – Tutorial Time

May 4th, 2012

Today’s tutorial is on converting images to rich black and white using your desktop editing software.  I am using Photoshop in my tutorial, but the techniques of adjusting the contrast, brightening the whites & making sure your grays aren’t flat can be used in practically any image editor. Here are some key points from the […]


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Today’s tutorial is on converting images to rich black and white using your desktop editing software.  I am using Photoshop in my tutorial, but the techniques of adjusting the contrast, brightening the whites & making sure your grays aren’t flat can be used in practically any image editor. Here are some key points from the video:

  • Use photos that have nice contrast to begin with
  • Be cognizant of skin tones in your black & white conversion, and in your color tinting.
  • Use the quick conversion tool in your software, but don’t be afraid to tweak your blacks & whites
  • Using adjustment layers in Photoshop will allow you to turn your conversions on and off.
  • Always save a color version and a black and white version – do not overwrite the original version of your images!

Check it out, and please email me or send me a message on Facebook if you have any questions!  Have a great weekend, and get out there & take some pictures :).

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Daunte

April 13th, 2012

I have known Daunte all his life, in fact, I just love it when I get to do maternity photos, then newborn photos, and photos as the babies grow into toddlers then children. If you are a blog follower from way back, you have probably seen photos of Daunte as a baby – head full […]

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I have known Daunte all his life, in fact, I just love it when I get to do maternity photos, then newborn photos, and photos as the babies grow into toddlers then children. If you are a blog follower from way back, you have probably seen photos of Daunte as a baby – head full of gorgeous black hair and sparkly happy eyes. Doesn’t ring a bell? No problem…check him out. Tell me he didn’t know how to strike a pose at a very early age.

Well, that was three years ago, and his parents wanted new pics for his third birthday…since they hadn’t had photos in forever. That’s usually what happens, you look around and realize the last family photos you had either a) Don’t include most of your kids or b) Features your children as newborns or young babies. They change so much!

So, we got together in October, and went to Mordeci park (the same place I photographed the Hines family). But it was terribly cloudy that day, so we didn’t make it to all of the photo hot spots. This session (a week later) found the grounds looking very different. It had rained, which in turn browned the beautiful orange and yellow leaves on the ground. What was left were crunchy and dry, the rest had been blown away!

The awesome, cool, perfect for fall location that I described to my clients looked nothing like I wanted it to, but that’s Fall in N.C. Instead of focusing on the beautiful colors on the ground, this time I took advantage of the few leaves still hanging around the trees & used a colorful building & still green grass as backdrop.





I love these with the green!

Daunte was as cute as ever, and what a HUGE personality he has! He’s charming and funny, and warmed right up to the idea of photos. We then changed locations to Pullen Park, to the lesser known hilly side across from the N.C. State University campus. They day was gorgeous, and the colors at Pullen Park were much more fall than downtown’s offerings. Check out the gallery below to view the rest of the photos with the Jacksons.

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It’s time for some randomness…

March 23rd, 2012

So, this blog post is going to be all over the place, It’s Friday, and I’m in a sharing sort of mood! Since I’m a visual person, I tend to snap random phone photos.  It’s sort of a way of keeping a diary, only visually.  I need to be better at putting those photos somewhere […]


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So, this blog post is going to be all over the place, It’s Friday, and I’m in a sharing sort of mood!

Since I’m a visual person, I tend to snap random phone photos.  It’s sort of a way of keeping a diary, only visually.  I need to be better at putting those photos somewhere though!   Here are some interesting visual ramblings from this week:

1) I love this leather satchel, I use it as my work bag, camera bag & weekend bag
2) I’m not one for pastels, but this Essie color was calling my name!
3) My school made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament (Go Pack!).  We usually don’t make it, but this year the guys have played well.  I’m optimistically hopefully (and yet, I know how we do, so I’m not letting my mind wander past tonight’s game just yet!). This is a photo of Donovan in front of the Bell Tower right off of campus.

 

I do the same thing with the big camera, but it’s not with me constantly.

1 & 2) My son was drawing a “cheerful” picture for a classmate that wasn’t feeling well. I think his flower photo took a very wrong turn with “Spooky Daisy” and “ManFlower” up there.  I didn’t want to smash his creative spirit…so I let it roll, until he misspelled a word *oops! Gotta start over lil’man…and on a HAPPIER note please!*.
3) The St. Patrick’s Day Parade seemed like a good plan. He was bored and requested to leave early. Who does that at a Parade? This moody little dude does.



I’ve been getting goodies in all week, I have sample canvases & sample mounted images all over the place until they have proper storage.  I love the kiddies that I’ve worked with. “Baby Ballerina” is one of my all time favorite photos.  It’s so soft & sweet, and she gave me a lazy little blink as she fell back asleep.

Something else I want to do on Fridays is share some interesting local shops, artists & destinations. Today, I want to share the website of Brandi Moody, who designs great jewelry.  Her website, Ever So Lovely highlights artists & designers from all over the world.  She’s also a talented artist as well, and her Etsy Shop has some fab finds – from jewelry to art including these great earrings in varying shades for the summer.

I could have purchased them online, but when Brandi told me she has jewelry in one of my favorite local shops, The Clothes Hound, I was able to go in person and pick out my favorite color.  The color on these isn’t flat, most all of them have blended colors that look different from every angle.  I picked out the pair above which are more gold than they appear in the photo. They are going to go perfectly with jeans & things this spring & summer.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the weather, if you dare play outside in all of the pollen! (Yes, that’s a pollen cloud coming to attack in the photo below!). Everything is bursting with the green stuff around here.

 

 

 

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On location – my favorite place

March 8th, 2012

Since I am totally on location (except for newborn sessions) I tend to scout around town a bit looking for great spots. I have a few spots that I always suggest to people, mainly because they are so versatile. My all time favorite spot locally is the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the campus of […]

 

Since I am totally on location (except for newborn sessions) I tend to scout around town a bit looking for great spots. I have a few spots that I always suggest to people, mainly because they are so versatile. My all time favorite spot locally is the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the campus of Duke University. To say this is a great spot for most all portrait sessions may sound like a stretch, but there are so many nooks and crannies in this place, it’s hard not to love it and find different spots every time I go.

By moving a few steps to the left or the right, an old familiar shoot locate becomes something brand new and interesting. Evening light versus morning light can change the whole ambiance of a shoot.

Yesterday morning, I decided to go out and take a very early morning tour of the park. The weather was going to be in the seventies, which made for a warm morning here. I loaded up a few lenses and headed off to the park. Familiar areas looked brand new in the morning light.

Take for instance this scene – the little Asian shelter by the pond in the Asiatic Arboretum. I’m sure it has a proper name…but I have never taken the time to read the little garden sign that explains.  Same place, different light, slightly different viewpoint.


This is one of my favorite spots in the park, the bamboo forest. This is the place where Donovan fell into the muck pond/cesspool when he was 3….and I had to carry a naked, muddy kid from the park and both of us rode home absolutely filthy. Unfortunately, I have no photos of that, but the tall bamboo here w/the light shining through is something you just don’t find often around here.


The pond stairs from different angles.


And there are some places that are unexpected gems at a huge park – places you wouldn’t notice much, but make a nice backdrop for photos.

Again, there are spots that are better at some times than others.  The spot below is one of them.  You may need to click it to get up close and personal with the details.  In the middle picture, the water was clouded and scummy, the first photo, the water level is below normal, but on the far right, it was clear (as it gets I suppose) and worked really well for the photo.

A location will never be “over done” as long as you vary up certain elements, a park like this is constantly in bloom through the seasons, and every season brings a new great spot for photos.

As I took pictures of spring, I made a few desktop backgrounds. Feel free to download and use these, simply click on the image, and when it opens large, right click & save on your computer.

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It’s Friday – Anything Goes!

August 26th, 2011

And today, the topic is growing up :(.  It is my son’s first day of kindergarten, and as you might know, he’s the only one around these days.  I’m not sad, or weepy or anything like that, I’m excited, and happy & so many other things besides sad.  This week, we spent a lot of […]


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And today, the topic is growing up :(.  It is my son’s first day of kindergarten, and as you might know, he’s the only one around these days.  I’m not sad, or weepy or anything like that, I’m excited, and happy & so many other things besides sad.  This week, we spent a lot of time together. He’s been in camp all summer long, so during the day he’s been pretty active.  This week we went to the museum, we worked a lot on his reading (he’s doing awesome!), and we worked on his computer skills. I realized how independent & grown up he is. His major excitement was going to the museum to dig for dinosaur fossils (From what I can tell, it looks like he found some fossilized baby rodent teeth…certainly NOT dinosaur teeth!!) – but he enjoyed himself.

His 6th birthday is still a few weeks away, so I’m going to spare you the photo retrospective (ooooh, but there WILL be a photo retrospective!), so today, it’s just First day of School photos.  I like his school because they do stagger the entry for younger students.  There is a class size of 6 or 7 students only, and they’ll go for half a day (I’ll get him in about an hour, actually!).

We’ve already had a parent’s meeting with his teacher, and a meet the teacher day at school, so by now, he’s pretty NOT excited about the whole thing.  I think he’s more excited about his new shoes that he thinks makes him jump really far.  This morning, we gathered up all of his supplies, the two class plants that I pulled off the bulletin board at school, and of course the camera & headed outside for “First Day of School” photos. We made it to school & I was able to take some great classroom photos of him. I can’t wait to hear how his day was, and on Monday, when all of his classmates are there. I want him to love learning, which I think he does. I want him to assert himself & figure out how to balance the social game that is school. Right now, it’s all smiles & he loves everyone, I hope it stays that way for a long time. I never want him to turn into someone who hangs with the mean kids, who excludes others, or who makes fun of people who are different. I hope he doesn’t drag into class, I want him excited, and hopeful about all of the things he is going to learn.

I can’t wait to go & get him even though I’m pretty sure when I ask him how it went, his only answer will be “fine”. It’s ok, I’m going to draw out every bit of information from him that I can!